Cruise down France’s Canal du Midi at a relaxed pace
Enjoy a relaxing, peaceful slice of French life on this comfortable journey down the Canal du Midi in the Aude Valley, wedged between the Pyrenees, the Black Mountains and the Mediterranean. Take your time, choose your pace and stops, and linger or move forward as you like through scenic France. From Castelnaudary trace the ancient route of wine merchants south-east, past idyllic medieval villages, the picture-perfect castle town of Carcassonne and the famous vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon wine country. Begin days with a croissant from a local bakery and finish them dining al fresco on the deck of the boat. Drift by castles and churches, hundred-year-old plane trees that cascade over the canal and watch locals challenge each other at petanque. Enjoy the freedom to hop off and explore at anytime – perhaps to cycle around ancient ruins and medieval cities – but with a leader always on hand to help with the boat and guide you in local sightseeing and optional activities. Moor along the canal or in little marinas and gorge yourself on the incredible range of gastronomic delights – not least all the wine and cheese from local markets and vineyards. This laidback trip is the perfect way to explore the south of France.
Travel down the 300-year-old Canal du Midi aboard a comfortable, fully-equipped boat, stopping off to explore quaint villages, antique churches and rustic farm houses. This unique cruise allows you to set your own pace and itinerary, selecting from a number of delectable destinations. The hard part is choosing...
Enjoy a guided tour through the Cite de Carcassonne, the largest fortified medieval city in Europe. Visit a family-run vineyard in Minervois, where you'll learn about centuries-old farming practices and taste the local tipple
Cycle, hike and stroll through scenic countryside, mingle with friendly locals and dine on provincial French cuisine in charming country restaurants. C'est la belle vie
Where better to experience life in the slow lane than in the countryside of southern France? Cruise down the canal at walking speed (quite literally the speed at which the canal boats are allowed to travel)
Be the captain of your own boat. You'll have plenty of opportunity to steer the vessel, with your skipper always at your side
Although we don't ask travellers to complete a Physical Participation Form for this trip, we do ask that you read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is right for you. You’ll need to feel comfortable with moving about the boat and leaving and re-boarding the vessel when you make landings. The cabins and communal areas of the boat are spread over two decks, and the steps between the decks are steep. Your trusty crew will always be on hand to assist you.
While on the water and exploring the surrounding countryside, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.
While the itinerary features included visits to Carcassone and Minervois, the rest of the trip is designed to be flexible. The group will be in charge of setting the pace and deciding where to stop from a selection of quaint villages and historic towns. You'll even have the opportunity to steer the boat yourself, with your skipper always at hand. A sense of humour and flexibility will ensure you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world.
This is provincial southern France, and most of the destinations you'll visit are quiet country towns. The boat will ease down the canal at walking pace, as this is the law. This is a great opportunity to really slow down and embrace peaceful country life for the week.
We want you to have fun, but please show respect for your shipmates by not smoking on-board and being aware that others might not want to party every night until 3 am. If you do want to enjoy a late night out, it’s probably a good idea to book into a hostel for that evening so you don’t wake your fellow travellers (and more importantly the skipper) on your return.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 30 September 2017
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our The Canal du Midi (Castelnaudary to Homps) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
Our The Canal du Midi (Castelnaudary to Homps) trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.
This is a food trip for people who want to experience southern France at a more leisurely pace than the typical group travel tour. Freshly baked baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolate, eclairs, tarte tatin made from whatever local fruit is in season and plenty of french butter to smear on everything (what is it about french butter that makes it so good?) Cheese, wine, charcuterie (foie gras anyone?), cassoulet, oysters . . . etc. The pacing was perfect in that it allowed for exploring on your own, with the group, or simply relaxing on the boat and assisting your tour leader to navigate canal lockes that were the main trade routes of the 17th century and are still functioning today. The citadel of Carcassone is one of the finest examples of medieval castles still standing in Europe but don't worry, this isn't one of those trips where you are sprinting from castle to castle and monastery to monastery. There is just enough history to keep it interesting without overdoing it. Picture floating underneath medieval stone bridges and perfectly manicured 100 year old trees with castles and monasteries for scenery. Smearing foie gras on a fresh baguette on the rooftop deck of the boat and making sure you have enough sun cream to avoid sunburn. Not your typical organized group trip.
Review submitted 27 Jun 2017
This trip is the perfect mix of travel and relaxation. The boat is a fun home base that allows you to sight see while sailing gently down the canal. The included activities are spaced so that you can have the maximum flexibility in tailoring the trip to your interests. Meeting locals, tasting wine, and enjoying French food all while spending a good portion of the day simply taking in the surroundings from the boat was spectacular. The close quarters on board mean that you really get to know your fellow travelers - sharing meals, cleaning up, and making decisions on what to see communally. The slow pace enhances the way you experience the region and the frequent stops, locks, and moorings allow for just enough activity to feel productive during the days spent lounging on board. One of the most relaxing group trips I've been on!
Review submitted 27 Jun 2017